Inspired by NFCA’s September 21st Webinar The Gluten-Free Effect on Athletes: Improving Performance Through Diet, I decided to mix up a batch of Jules Gluten-Free Chewy Granola Bars. A few NFCA staff members, including myself, are training for a half-marathon later this fall and so I figured these nutritious bars would be the perfect portable snack to munch on! And since I wanted there to be enough bars to go around, I doubled the recipe. (Jules actually recommends that everyone do this so you can pack them in lunches, share with others or stow away in your car).
The Chewy Granola Bars call for a variety of ingredients, making it easy to get creative! Perhaps the greatest feature of this recipe is the ability to adjust the ingredients based on individual preferences, tastes and other food allergies or intolerance. In my case, I chose to omit the oats and nut ingredients and substituted gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal and sunflower “nut” butter.
After the chopping, grating and measuring, I quickly realized that I was going to need a bigger mixing bowl. One recommendation: use the biggest mixing bowl you have! This is ALOT of ingredients (all nutritionally dense by the way) and it’s important that all of the items be mixed together evenly. Once the mixing was finished, I spread the fusion of ingredients onto a baking sheet and stuck it in the pre-heated oven.
I’ve watched enough Food Network to know that once you can smell the food baking in the oven, it’s time to check on it. Once the wafts of cinnamon hit my nose I tested the bars out with a toothpick. However, I ended up cooking the bars for an additional 25 minutes and I definitely think they could have gone even longer. My recommendation for anyone doubling the recipe is to bake the bars for an additional 25 minutes and then keep a close eye on the cooking status to prevent burning.
The results? Delicious! The Chewy Granola Bars were flavorful, had the perfect variety of texture and kept my appetite at bay for hours. And most importantly, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on the crunch you expect of gluten-containing bars. I will definitely be using Jules Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour to bake these bars again!
Want to try them out? Get the recipe on NFCA’s Recipe of the Week blog.